TUT classes remain suspended as protests continue

The academic programme at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Soshanguve has been suspended indefinitely by management after overnight protests.

"Due to the volatility of the situation and the risk to the safety of staff and students, the University had no choice but to come to this decision, which aims to normalise the situation at the institution," TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said in a statement on Monday.

Protests erupted last month following the shooting death of final year law student Katlego Monareng, allegedly at the hands of the police.

The institution had planned to resume classes on Monday but this was foiled by continued violence and damage to property over the weekend. 

"A contingency plan including increased security at these campuses will be implemented to ensure the safety of the campus community once activities resume. For their own safety, all students are encouraged to vacate residences at these campuses while activities are suspended," De Ruyter added.

TUT obtained a court interdict last week at the High Court in Pretoria.

"The interdict will be enforced to prevent perpetrators of the ongoing unrest and damage to TUT property from entering the Soshanguve North and South campuses. In addition, it will be enforced to prevent any person from participating in any disruptive activities on these campuses," De Ruyter said.

The institution has already begun a process of suspending students believed to be behind the violent protests as of Monday.

"Suspension letters to students who were identified as perpetrators of the ongoing protest action and damage to TUT property were issued today [Monday]. Therefore, they will no longer be allowed on campus," De Ruyter concluded.

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